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betting-update:-england-to-cover,-bale-to-score-first

7:48 PM GMT

  • Derek BiltonESPN.co.uk betting writer

The international break sees England go in search of the point they require to lock up Euro 2020 qualification, while Wales also face a crunch trip to Azerbaijan this weekend and once again we’ve got all the best betting angles covered.

Running total: £25.40

The Banker

England know a win over Montenegro on Thursday night will confirm their place at Euro 2020, and they are red-hot favourites with the bookmakers to claim three points despite the recent controversy surrounding star men Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez at St George’s Park. We know Sterling won’t feature against Montenegro, but the Three Lions should still have plenty in hand against a side they beat 5-1 in March in Podgorica.

Ross Barkley grabbed a double on that occasion, while Sterling, Harry Kane and Michael Keane also weighed in as England recovered from going a goal down early on. Gareth Southgate’s men are averaging an impressive 4.33 goals per game in this qualifying campaign, and on home soil should be too hot for opposition who have claimed just three points (all draws) from seven matches in Group A.

With the pace of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho allied to the cool finishing of Kane up top, England could go for the jugular here and look at bet at 7/5 with bet365 to cover a three-goal handicap.

Selection: £5 on England (-3) to win at 7/5 with bet365.

The First-Goal Flutter

A late header from Gareth Bale was enough to earn Wales a crucial win over Azerbaijan back in September, and the Real Madrid Galactico could prove the difference again when the teams meet on Saturday in Baku.

Bale has been nursing a calf injury but the Welsh are hopeful he could start this crunch Group E encounter, and he looks the most likely first goal scorer in a team that should also feature Aaron Ramsey, Daniel James and Harry Wilson. Bale, who remains Wales’ talisman, is 11/4 to score first against opponents who have already shipped 14 goals in six qualifying matches.

Selection: £2 on Bale to score first at 11/4 with bet365.

The Tasty Treble

Italy have qualified for Euro 2020 so Roberto Mancini may decide to experiment when his team face Bosnia on Friday. Bosnia pushed the Azzurri close in Turin, only losing 2-1, but are a strong team at home and look a good bet at 21/10.

Elsewhere we also like Sweden at 31/20 to beat a Romania side who are too reliant on George Puscas. The Swedes showed they are no mugs by making it to the quarterfinals of the last World Cup and look a big price here against a far from vintage Romanian outfit.

Finally, add in the draw when Scotland travel to Cyprus. Just one point separates the teams in Group I and it could be cagey when the sides meet on Saturday afternoon, with the draw chalked up at 11/5. The Euro 2020 is paying a speculating 24/1 with bet365 and looks worth a punt.

Selection: £3 on the treble at 24.29/1 with bet365.

The Wildcard Tip

Netherlands look a solid bet to beat Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Saturday night, but the Irish should be trusted to keep the score line respectable. They held the Dutch at bay for 80 minutes in Rotterdam before eventually crashing to a 3-1 defeat. A 2-0 win for Ronald Koeman’s men this weekend is a 5/1 chance and could be worth a small play.

Selection: £1 on Netherlands to win 2-0 at 5/1 with bet365.

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